Luisa Grey, Director at Eazipay Ltd
The tragic collapse of Carillion, the UKs second largest construction company, raises profound questions for every SME owner, and principal among these is: “Is my business safe?”
If a major British company can fail while still holding £billions in government contracts, how can SMEs protect themselves from financial over-exposure which could drag their business into a downward spiral into bankruptcy?
A staggering 30,000 smaller companies could be negatively impacted by the demise of Carillion. The impact on peoples’ lives must be devastating.
The tragic collapse of Carillion was, it seems, a disaster waiting to happen, with no shortage of pundits lining up to confirm that they saw it coming and that the warning signs were there for all to see.
But what about the thousands (up to 30,000) smaller companies which didn’t see the writing on the wall, who don’t spend their time poring over Annual Reports, and which may now find themselves going to the wall along with Carillion? How do SMEs protect themselves against the unthinkable – that a major UK company with multiple £billion on-going contracts, may topple over and drag them down as well.
UK businesses are being urged to plan in advance to avoid missing or delaying crucial payments over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), the company behind Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit in the UK, is reminding businesses to make plans to ensure staff and suppliers don’t miss out because of the non-processing days over the festive period.
If starting a new company is a risky venture, then keeping it afloat once it has been launched is even riskier. So why should larger companies - which are generally seen as more secure - be granted the additional safety net of guaranteed payment collection by Direct Debit, when that same vital cash-flow protection isn’t offered to smaller companies?
If your business has a turnover of less than three million a year and you want to collect customer payments by Direct Debit, the chances are your bank will turn you down because you are seen as too great a risk for the bank to ‘sponsor’ your application to collect payments by Direct Debit.
With the New Year a little more than half way through, one local company is already celebrating the fact that 2017 is likely to be the most successful in its decade and a half history.
Eazipay Ltd, based in Ely, Cambridgeshire, has been at the forefront of collecting and processing automated payments like Direct Debit for over 15 years. While the company has seen year-on-year growth over that period, 2017 is shaping up to be a bumper year as the company announces the appointment of five new members of staff to help it meet the demand for its automated payment processing services.